| Demands for young worker for nursing care is increasing along with the population aging in society. Consequently, young labors to develop sustainable growth in the society tend to shrink. For the problem, there is a huge interest in robotic technology for realizing a human support. However, human support cannot simply be achieved with the robotics technology today, because industrial robots are not capable of performing“soft” and gentle motions. The problems arise from their historical background, they are developed based on technologies for machine tools which are originally subjected to destroy objects.
Dr. Tomoyuki Shimono
( Assoc. prof. of Yokohama National University )
Haptics technology is the key to realize human
support. In addition, actuator performance is the most important factor in the better haptics demonstration. For this reason, in KAST project starting from 2015, the researchers have been developing innovative actuators that are capable of performing accurate haptics. In this project, researchers are going to develop highly-practical
human support robots for medical, nursing care, and
welfare purposes. In addition to the actuator technologies that had been developed in prior projects, fundamental haptics technology, motor control technology, and life support technology are integrated for the research and development.
Although physical contact and interaction are essential in human support robots, conventional robotics technology did not consider applicable strategies that are durable for practical situations. Dexterous force adjustment is indispensable for the comfortable human support; supporting robots should not go against human will. Supporting robot obtains ability to comprehend a
“force sense” with haptics technology. This project aims to introduce haptics technologies in practical medical, nursing care, and welfare applications. The project categorizes the application fields into four different research topics. They are; 1. medical devices and 2. operation support robots in medical fields. 3. rehabilitation support robots for patients with disabilities. 4. life support robots for elder people. Each research topics are gradually/interactively developed in order to accumulate/share techniques and know-hows for the